Austin City Limits Impresses Fans Again


Emilee Guernsey

Hundreds of people take a break at ACL with some food from the many concessions there.

Emilee Guernsey , Editor-in-chief

Prepped and ready to go, I took on Austin City Limits for my second year. I was no longer an amateur this time around, so I was prepared for the weekend’s events. I bought a CamelBak, a small backpack that seconds as a water bottle, sunglasses and shoes that I would not miss if they were to become ruined. Being more knowledgeable on the things I would and wouldn’t need at ACL aided me for the three days of musical bliss.

The lineup for this years festival had mixed opinions when it was initially released, but I was in love with it. All of my favorite bands would be performing, people I actually knew and enjoyed, so when I walked into Zilker Park I was buzzing with excitement.

This year I focused on the bands I really wanted to see and forced myself to wait hours for them in order to be close to the front. For a performer that goes by the name Flume, I trudged my way to the front of the crowd with my two friends, and we wiggled our way into the barricade. There was absolutely no room to move that close to the front. I couldn’t lift my arms above my shoulders. My shirt was soaking wet from sweat, sweat that was not mine. But it was worth it to be at the front of the stage. Tragically, I was unable to stay at the front because of the constant shoving and pushing, but I did see a little bit of the performance through cracks between people’s shoulders. To be frank, the Friday of ACL was a bust.

I didn’t get my hopes up though. I was not going to be shoved around the next day. When Saturday came around, I was full of energy all over again. I arrived in the later evening for the bands I was prepared to see. This time I was at the front and I stayed there and screamed the songs, played by The Naked and Famous, at the top of my lungs with my best friends. Afterward, we quickly rushed to the next stage to watch what was most definitely the best performance of ACL. Cage the Elephant was set to play and when they walked out on stage the crowd erupted. The band was full of energy, it was unbelievable. The guitarist was chunking instruments and breaking them while the lead singer was jumping on and off the stage to interact with the crowd. Their set was by far the best one I witnessed at ACL.

The headliner for Saturday night was a rapper named Kendrick Lamar, who is arguably one of the most influential rappers of our time. I was full of so many emotions when Kendrick took place on the stage. I wanted to cheer, but I also wanted to cry. I was looking at Kendrick Lamar and watching him perform, I couldn’t comprehend it. The hour and a half of meaningful, poetic songs was over too quickly and I was quite upset.

This year at ACL I knew what I was doing. I was ready to take on anything. Those couple of days of listening to some of the most iconic artists play was unforgettable. ACL was the most exhilarating experience of this year.